YouTube for the Fandom Loving Soul, Vol 2: Harry Potter Nov03

YouTube for the Fandom Loving Soul, Vol 2: Harry Potter...

New from the Geekdom House Records! Four explosive hits from original stars! It’s the YouTube for the Fandom-Loving Soul, Volume Two, featuring the Potterverse. The Second City, Neil Cicierega, Broad Strokes, and the much anticipated TheDCTVshow all make the cut in this once-in-a-lifetime combination that will knock your socks off. All for the low price of FREE. Money back guaranteed. Don’t wait. Watch now. 1. HOGWARTS: Which House Are You? 2. Potter Puppet Pals 3. The Greater Good – Dumbledore and Grindelwald Honourable Mention: VOLDEMORT: Origins of the Heir...

YouTube for the Fandom Loving Soul, Vol. 1: Video Games...

New from the Geekdom House Records! Four explosive hits from original stars! It’s the YouTube for the Fandom-Loving Soul, Volume One. Mistersyms, Malukah, Lindsey Stirling, and William Joseph all make the cut in this once-in-a-lifetime combination that will knock your socks off. All for the low price of FREE. Money back guaranteed. Don’t wait. Watch now. 1. Piltover Dubstep (League of Legends) 2. The Dragonborn Comes (Skyrim) 3. Halo Theme Honourable Mention: The Legend of Zelda movie...

Inappropriate Geeky Quotes for a Job Interview Jul13

Inappropriate Geeky Quotes for a Job Interview...

Can you tell me a little about yourself? 1) I’m Batman. 2) They call me Gato, I have metal joints. Beat me up and win 15 Silver Points. 3) Verily this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my very good honour to meet you and you may call me V. 4) I am Groot. 5) I am Iningo Montoya, you killed my father. Prepare to die. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 1) Well there’s always money in the banana stand. 2) Dead. Of Dysentery. 3) Probably killed. By a Zamboni. 4) Well… here. It’s a contract that says when the war is over, all the materia will belong to me. 5) Ah spaghetti. Ah, ravioli. Ahh, mama mia. How did you hear about the position? 1) Can’t stop the signal. 2) I cannot tell! Suffice to say, is one of the words the Knights of Ni cannot hear! 3) Guy came looking for me. Real Grim Reaper-type. I don’t know. It furthered the plot. 4) I was weak. That’s why I needed you… Needed someone to punish me for my sins… But that’s all over now. I know the truth. 5) I am Groot. What would you say are your best assets? 1) I can run very fast over short distances. 2) I know kung fu. 3) When 900 years old, you reach… Look as good, you will not. 4) I see dead people. 5) I never give up. I never surrender. How do you deal with conflict with the workplace? 1) Resistance is futile. 2) Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria! 3) Rule #2: Double tap. 4) I am Groot. 5) Nuclear launch detected. What is your greatest flaw? 1)...

Life, Death, and Mario Kart...

“That’s not fair!” And with that, at the finish line I was passed by Mario, Daisy, Yoshi, and the entirety of the Mushroom Kingdom. In frustration, I tossed the controller aside. I had run the perfect race, drifted every corner, hit every question block, collected every coin and abused every item, but in that final straightaway, the dreaded blue turtle shell came. With the finish line in sight and first place victory secured, I spun out and was passed again, and again, and again. Another turtle shell, red this time, and a Bullet Bill power-up ensured that I went from first to absolute dead last. Anyone who has played Mario Kart is familiar with that reprieve. The truth is, the Nintendo racers cheat. No matter how far ahead you get, no matter how perfect your race, the A.I. will unfairly adjust the speeds of each of the other racers to ensure that every race comes right down to the wire. And nothing could be more frustrating. Life, like Mario Kart, isn’t fair. I write this as I sit at the bedside of my mother in palliative care, knowing that there are only hours left in her life. In the same hospital six months ago and five floors below, I witnessed the birth of my son. And today we try to make my mother as comfortable as possible with warm blankets and happy memories. Life was never intended to be fair. Mario Kart was never intended to be fair. Three weeks ago, the doctor had broken the news. We all knew it was coming as she had been fighting a losing battle to Stage IV cancer for a few years already. The oncologist’s were quick, like a band-aid being torn off. “We are looking at...

It’s Dangerous to Go Alone! Take This....

Mid-summer birthdays are lonely. I mean sure, they’re spaced far enough away from Christmas that the “Kyle’s temporary material happiness fund” should be well stocked, but most of my friends were off on vacation and unable to attend an appropriately large birthday bash. However, in the summer of 1986 I could not have been more thankful for the solitude. In my hands I held the iconic gold cartridge of the original Legend of Zelda. I had maps, I had snacks, and I had a stack of Nintendo Power magazines by my side; I was ready to go. But none of those provisions were necessary when I directed Link into that first cave. It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this. I explored a vast unknown world, discovered hidden dungeons, felt the tension of that last half heart, slew great beasts of legendary proportions, and ventured through seemingly infinite sequels—and it all began with my first sword. Recently, someone posted a meme featuring that phrase on my Facebook wall. The scene was the same. Same old bald man in a red suit. Same bonfires on either side. Except instead of a sword, Link was lifting up a cup of coffee. I realized the sword I want to give my little girl isn’t called education. It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this. ABSOLUTELY, I thought. The world without my coffee in the morning truly is a dangerous place. I pondered that phrase for the rest of the day. The world really is a dangerous place. What did I have in my bag of holding to deal with its dangers? More importantly, what was I equipping my four-year-old daughter with to prepare her for what she would face? It seems like every week I am re-posting a new picture of a...

Retcon, God, please retcon Nov06

Retcon, God, please retcon...

Retcon [RET-kon] (verb): to change the past events [in a LARP], often to correct the story (derived from retroactive continuity). Arthur, a lowly and uninspired bard, hates his character. But he’s been cursed so that if he dies, his entire party perishes along with him. This is the setting for “Retcon,” an episode of Geek and Sundry’s LARPs. Arthur cares too much to see the entire party die, but he does not want to continue on as a bard. As you watch him drown himself (and his sorrows) in the hot tub at the end of the episode, you can understand his fervent wish for a retcon. Ah, the retcon. The creator’s bane. Something gets a little too out of control, too confusing, or too boring, and suddenly we just have to go along with a whole new set of information. Certainly, retcons have been done well in the past, but the purist inside every geek cringes a little when they become necessary. Yet, recently I felt like Arthur. My prayer was this: “Retcon God, please retcon.” It is because I love her that I stand over my fallen loved one and, like Kat does for Arthur, call out for a Divine Shield. My mother has been battling Stage IV colorectal cancer for the last five years. Recently, she went to the hospital with banana-yellow skin—not a good sign. An ultrasound and CT scan failed to reveal the problem, but then an MRI told the story. Best case scenario was a gallstone blockage, worst case was complete liver failure. A cancerous tumor on her liver had swelled, causing a blockage. A stint in the liver could remedy the problem, but chemotherapy for the rest of her life would probably be necessary. The afternoon she...

What is a Geekdom and where is this House? Sep30

What is a Geekdom and where is this House?...

Who or what is Geekdom House? It’s a question we get asked a lot and I anticipate getting asked a lot more over the next number of years. It seems only fitting that since this month’s theme is “identity” that we take some time to address this question. We do have an About Us section on the website, but who wants to read us writing about ourselves? I am far more interested in sharing how we have been perceived by those not intrinsically a part of the mission as it stands. I mean, we can have the best intentions, but it’s the impact we are having outside our own perspective that really matters. So without further ado, here’s what the media is saying about Geekdom House: ReachFM Grande Prairie Radio Interview (with Kyle Rudge) —Mike Ferrier, Drive Host (September 9, 2015) “Well my wife and I found ourselves inside a people group and the church was strangely not present.” CHVN Winnipeg Radio Interview (with Allison Barron) —Amy Davey, Drive Host (September 4, 2015) “We have been surprised by how many have now found us.” Episode 68 – Breaking Down Boundaries (with Kyle Rudge) —Grant Woodward & Peter Martin, Saving the Game Podcast (September 8, 2015) “Kyle … brought lots of fascinating things to talk about, like: Creating a geeky, mission-forward small group in his church; introducing that group to Dungeons & Dragons; his appearance on the “Faith and Gaming” panel at GenCon 2015; a Firefly-themed Bible study; taking a choir to Winnipeg’s Central Canada Comic Con; the tight-knit communities of fandom; Done the Impossible and The Guild; and characters who reflect ourselves.” [Subscribe to the podcast here.]   This is Gen Con – Episode 2: The Panel —Mike Perna, Gamestore Prophets (August 5, 2015) “This year’s panel talk about faith...

Magic the church gathering Aug31

Magic the church gathering...

Ever since one of my friends hauled out a huge cardboard box filled with Magic the Gathering cards, I’ve been intrigued by the game. The creativity required with each new set, each new mechanic, and how they interact with everything that has gone before is pleasantly overwhelming. While I cannot possibly play every set that comes out (because… money), I love analyzing the creativity with which others craft their decks and strategies. So like any artist, my imagination sometimes works in overdrive (usually when I should be sleeping). After a series of game-related thoughts involving Smash Up and A Game for Good Christians, I began pondering: what if there was a themed Magic the Gathering deck based off of a biblical story? What story would I pick? What colours would they be? Would I be cast out for heresy for even considering it? Throwing caution to the wind and deciding this was an equally good and terrible idea, I recruited help. I ventured down to a local board game shop known for their care and support of the gaming community, A Muse N Games. I sat with Brian, one of the owners of the store, to begin our journey. I selected four stories that I thought might be good plausible starting points and, armed with a Bible (yes, I brought a Bible to a gaming store), I told these four stories and together we started crafting the decks. A few loyal customers who happened to overhear our quest piped up with some suggestions. We jumped off the deep-end by starting with the story of Noah. “Noah and the Flood” Deck The theme of this deck is based mainly off of three verses around the Noah and the Flood story: Look! I am about to cover the earth with a...

Harry Potter and the Half-Satirical Prince Aug24

Harry Potter and the Half-Satirical Prince...

A few months ago, I discovered a Harry Potter fan-fiction titled Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles. Needless to say, I was instantly intrigued. I know many Christians, some of them esteemed clergy, who have read and enjoyed J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, but the prevailing culture within Christianity is that Christians should be highly skeptical of anything that discusses magic (Lewis and Tolkien are the exceptions to the rule). Enter a self-titled “housewife” brandishing her pen like a cross to ”fix” the problem of magic in Harry Potter. At the very first paragraph of the story, I sensed I was reading something amazing: “[Harry] was a good, obedient boy who did all his chores; but he felt that there was something missing in his life. Something big and special; but he could not quite name it.” It’s readily apparent that the author knows very little about the actual storyline of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. She seems to only be aware of names and basic events… either that, or she just doesn’t care about preserving the original. Also I am fairly certain she was paid by the adverb. “Thank you very much for your concern, sir, but he does not need your religion, he has science and socialism and birthdays.” If you are a die-hard fan of the Harry Potter series, a feminist, a socialist, an environmentalist, a modernist, a Catholic, pro-same-sex marriage, not a 6-day creationist, have a reddit account, or don’t drive a gas-guzzling SUV, there will surely be something in this that will offend you. Therefore this is either a brilliant work of satire or something else entirely. The Weasleys are all sorted into Slytherin (described as an obvious representation of the Catholic church), and they just don’t seem to...

The lost art of the IC mischan...

I hate those times when you’re having a conversation with your friend about the complexities of life, but right in the middle of it you start reciting next week’s grocery list. If that sounds implausible to you, then you are simply highlighting my point of the dying golden art of the comedic mischan. The mischan is reserved for the privileged few geeks who enter the worlds of text-based video games, where there are both in-character and out-of-character chat channels. In these games, you can have any number of conversations going on at once and it is inevitable that you will accidentally message one group instead of another. In MUDs (Multi User Dungeons), hundreds to sometimes even thousands of players from around the world log in to an alternate universe, adorn a unique character, and participate in a grand storyline. Words whiz by the screen at an alarming pace. I learned to read remarkably fast and type at a feverish 95 wpm pace playing a MUD. When we advance as a society sometimes there are things that do get left behind. In 1995, after a few frustrating starts with a variety of MUDs, I discovered ThresholdRPG. It stood out because of its roleplay-enforced atmosphere (meaning all in-character lines of communication must remain in-character at all times). Here everything was text-based and the visuals were conjured in one’s own imagination. In ThresholdRPG, your character can speak in common or your native racial language. In character, there are chat channels for your guild, religion, clan, job, bloodoath and telepathy. Out of character, there are channels like citizen, heritage, court, trivia, sports, and politics. All of these go on simultaneously in real-time. Due to that fairly overwhelming number of communication lines, a mischan—or two or three—is bound to happen. Take,...

Reforming racism by Star Trek’s example Jul07

Reforming racism by Star Trek’s example...

It hasn’t been that long since the massacre in Charleston, SC, where nine African-Americans died in a church because of racial prejudice. When this was brought up in conversation and I was asked to write about racism for Area of Effect, it didn’t take me too long to think of a meaningful geek parallel. Star Trek is the first thing that came to mind, in particular, the character of Lt. Commander Uhura (Nichelle Nichols). It was absolutely unheard of to have a black woman in leadership in the 60s, yet here she was on the bridge of the Enterprise. Her leadership role at that time is part of the beauty of Science Fiction. It can speculate and forecast a possible future, argue that it is better than our own, and demonstrate its ideal under the guise of fiction. Topics of race and equality did not stop with The Original Series but continued throughout every Star Trek series and remained the subtext of many an episode. So if we are going to glean anything from what Star Trek can teach us about processing the aftermath of Charleston, we should probably focus on the one series that explored the depths of character. It had to; I mean, they were stuck on a (mostly) stationary space station. What else is there to explore? Dukat’s eyes were opened because of his daughter. And I don’t care what you say, its character development is why Deep Space Nine is the series to rule them all. You can argue with me, but that won’t change that you’re wrong. While The Original Series painted a utopian future about race no longer being an issue of inequality, Deep Space Nine took it one step further and asked, “Now what?” What should be done...

What Would Punk Rock Jesus Do? Jun25

What Would Punk Rock Jesus Do?...

A reality TV show executive clones the DNA of Christ, implants that clone into the womb of an 18-year-old virgin and videos her life so it can be watched by the world, The Truman Show style. How’s that for a solid premise? I’m hooked. Every ounce of me wants to review this comic, aptly named Punk Rock Jesus, but according to the Managing Editor (i.e. the Commander), I am “not supposed to be writing reviews.” I hope you read that in a snarky tone because, despite snark being completely foreign to her speech, it is how I falsely remember the conversation. Without giving much away about the story, Punk Rock Jesus explores a powerful question: can people’s religious beliefs be exploited for profit? The answer, which should be to no one’s surprise, is an absolute yes. I mean, if we can exploit people’s desire for marriage (The Bachelor and its affiliates), spiritual exploitation isn’t so surprising. Money complicates every situation, in the church and outside of it. Years ago, I was listening to a podcast that featured Scott Kurtz of PVP Online fame; I recall him telling a story about his encounter with The Christian Plumber. This legit plumber would come to his house, do the work he was hired to do, offer prayer, and leave a Bible verse on the table as he left, written on a card. The weird thing is—he wasn’t a Christian. It was all a marketing gimmick and, while I don’t appreciate the dishonesty, I can admire the ingenuity of it. In North America we have Christian schools, Christian bookstores, Christian fast food chains, Christian plumbers, and even I work at a Christian radio station. As customers and clients, Christians are fiercely loyal, so there is a lot of...

Falling for entertainment Jun15

Falling for entertainment...

“Stop wasting your time.” If it’s not often explicitly stated that way, it is definitely implied in the array of looks I get from people when I list off the sheer amount of TV shows that I am presently keeping  track of. It’s 16, if you were wondering. “It’s just mindless entertainment.” My feelings of guilt and shame after hearing this comment one too many times came to a head when I started listening to podcasts on the way to work. I asked for suggestions on Facebook of what I should listen to.. I anticipated a number of the recommendations: This American Life, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, Freakanomics, and, given the circles I roll in, a variety of Christian and inspirational podcasts. Here was an opportunity to appease those entertainment-naysayers, improve myself, make effective use of my time, and be productive on my ride to work. I’m constantly looking for deeper meaning. But instead of choosing a podcast about faith, or about how to be a better dad, or about how to run a business better,  I settled on Hunt the Truth, the origin story of Master Chief. The podcast is told from the first person perspective of an investigative journalist. “You should be ashamed.” But really, should I? Look, I get it—all of us can easily waste our time by indulging in the mindless. But for me, watching the latest Avengers film engaged my creativity and inspired me more than a recorded sermon ever will. For me, sedentary entertainment is not always passive entertainment. It certainly can be, but there are times that it simply isn’t for me. For me, playing Fez is not just playing a video game. It is walking through an old forgotten chapel in Europe, smelling incense that is long...

The vulnerability of Isaac’s binding...

Have you played The Binding of Isaac yet? Admittedly, I have this weird obsession with stories that invoke Biblical mythology from a less than sensitive perspective. I find it intriguing to witness how a narrative I believe is perceived from an outsider looking in. What are the things they notice? What pleases them? What offends them? How do they define the concepts they encounter? Concepts like, in this case, vulnerability. The Binding of Isaac is a game that clearly echoes the Biblical account of God asking Abraham to bind and sacrifice his son Isaac (Gen 22). In the Biblical narrative, Abraham obeys and moments before he is about to kill his son, God tells him to stop and provides a lamb for the sacrifice instead. This is one of those Biblical stories that has always bothered me. Sure, God knew of the lamb he would eventually provide, but how could a loving God even ask that of a follower? As a father of a three year old, if God were to ask that of me—I cannot possibly fathom ever saying yes. Vulnerability is not something to be overcome. In the game’s story, Isaac’s mother—who watches Christian television broadcasts—hears the voice of God telling her to separate her son from sin. Eventually she is told the only real way to succeed is to cut her son off from the mortal world, so she locks him in his room. Then she hears the voice telling her to end his life. Isaac, through a crack in his door, hears this and sees his mother carrying a knife and coming towards his room. He finds a trap door to the basement hidden under his rug and jumps down just in time. There, Isaac faces an onslaught of monsters....

It’s all geek to you May21

It’s all geek to you...

A few weeks back, X-men lovers (including myself) discovered that Bobby Drake, Iceman, is gay. As with any change in the characters we love, there was a public outcry. I’m adding my own pitchfork to the pile in response to Franklin Graham’s post on the subject. Franklin’s statement bothers me for reasons beyond the LGBTQ debate, which is a hotly contested topic in its own right. Stepping away from the Christianity vs. Gay battle royale here, Franklin’s statement is a prime example of how us geeks are so often misunderstood by the Christian church. “…our young people…” My primary frustration is the inferred belief that comics are meant for young people. That is a common misconception in the Christian church. The expectation is that as we grow up we are to “put away childish things,” and comics is one of these. But I am in my thirties and I still want to read about, enjoy, and follow the lives of these characters. “…indoctrinate…” Franklin’s belief about the comic world appears to be one of subversive agenda. That these stories are only tools to push moral and political agendas. In this particular instance, it appears Franklin reduces the Iceman story to a Sex Ed pamphlet meant to educate a particular worldview. But these stories have deeply affected me and other comic fans. We grew up with these characters, we get tense when they are in trouble, we grieve their losses, we laugh at their jokes and celebrate their successes. The characters in these worlds are every bit as real and alive to us as a dog is to a dog lover. They are not tools for an agenda, they are our friends. If my best friend came out as a gay, the last thing I...

Final Fantasy battle medley May19

Final Fantasy battle medley...

In honour of music month, one of our guest writers (who is also a musician, you may notice) elected to write us a song. Saddle up your Chocobos, strap in the Onion Kids, and Locke and load my friends. From the Cloud comes the Lightning and takes us out of Winnipeg Snow and right to the Edge, mister Mark Barron. Final Fantasy battle medley! by Mark Barron “No fancy production here; this is all just live in front of my webcam, except the two obvious parts where there are overhanging chords and different effects. The downside is that after the two takes, I realized I had cut off some of my left hand, which I’m thankful to say is much less painful than it...

Music inside the fourth wall May14

Music inside the fourth wall

While attending a film school in Norway, I was challenged with an assignment to film the same scene twice, with the goal to create two vastly different reactions from the viewer. There was a catch: music wasn’t allowed. It wasn’t impossible, but it was hard. Music is an easy (and powerful) tool to invoke a desired emotion. Taking that one step further—when the soundtrack is actually part of the story itself and not beyond the fourth wall—creates something as powerful as a Balrog in heat. From “Carry On My Wayward Son” blaring loudly in Dean’s ’67 Chevy Impala to the outright comical bane of Lana with Archer’s “Danger Zone,” there is no shortage of unique examples we can call upon. But there are only a handful of absolute masterpieces that not only add to the culture of the show but become pivotal and iconic pieces that completely encapsulate what the story stands for. The music is the duct tape that holds the universe together.Take the legendary work of Tolkien and “Far Over the Misty Mountains,” for instance. Peter Jackson’s interpretation of this song is a positively brilliant opening to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The dwarves sing it as a dirge; it is the mournful cry of a band of brothers, grieving over their lost kingdom. It also foreshadows the destruction that is to come, that not all would leave unscathed, and gives us the unique psychological insight into the dwarves. They knew some of them would die. They are haunted by this, but they all go forward anyway. Then there is the crazy backwater town, Canton, where Jayne Cobb is a folk hero. Our favourite band of spacefarers discover that he’s been pretty much elevated to godhood amongst the people. Fear and dread are instantly washed away and replaced instead with shock, joy and comedy the moment the lyrics pour out. “Jayne.. the man they call Jaaaayyynne.” That song represents a pivotal point in the character of Jayne. That is the moment when Jayne finally begins to question his own selfish intentions. The confused Jayne is forced to deal with selfless sacrifice and in his words, it “Don’t make no sense.” There are only a handful of absolute masterpieces that become pivotal and iconic pieces. In “Out of Gas,” the shuttle captained by Zoe returns before being recalled. Jayne’s shuttle does not. Jayne fumbles with his words trying to explain away why they did not return. If he was the same Jayne before visiting Jaynestown—he wouldn’t have cared. And in “Ariel,” Jayne finally understands who he is, and who is family is. This character arc all begins with the song in Canton. And, of course,“The Rains of Castamere.” How many reaction videos exist on YouTube to the now infamous Red Wedding? In that brief second after the first note is played and before the horrific slaughter, there is a moment of sheer terror. Everyone in the room knows exactly what is coming. As the audience, we feel that moment of terror in the same split second that the characters do. The event remains burned into the hearts, minds, and souls of every Game of Thrones fan, and the moment is scored beautifully with “The Rains of Castamere.” Sometimes I feel like film scores are trying too hard to manipulate me to feel a certain way, possibly to make up for mediocre storytelling. But when the production is amazing and when the story moves me, the music is the duct tape that holds the universe...

All I really need to know I learned from COSPLAYING May07

All I really need to know I learned from COSPLAYING...

Part of being in Geekdom House is participating in the geek culture and community. This past Tuesday (because Dawn always gets in trouble on Tuesdays) was an event that we simply could not miss: Sing-A-Long with Feeling, Once More! It began as a dream of one die-hard Buffy fan, Kendra Monk, and turned into something best described as a Rocky Horror Picture Show showing, except it was comprised of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog and the musical Buffy episode “Once More With Feeling.” The night was made complete with mini-PhD degrees in Horribleness (that we were given to wave around at the appropriate time) and paper hearts that loudly snapped when you broke them (to use during those times when Spike gets rejected). The event was a smashing success. Given the relatively smallness of the event (and the promise of prizes), I decided to give my first go at this thing called cosplay. My first idea—a cardboard adaptation of the Serenity ship combined with a long black haired wig and a name tag that says: “Hi my name is River Tam”—did not work out. Plan B: I thought I could pass for Wash and it was off to MCC Thrift Store and Value Village to make that dream come alive. Along the way I learned a few things about cosplay and about life: 1) Life (like cosplaying) starts with the joy of an idea. Joy in life starts with a day that has a specific purpose and direction. 2) Life (like cosplaying) is better when you’re not comparing yourself to others. It is bad to compare your outsides to other’s outsides but it is infinitely worse to compare your insides to other’s outsides yet for some reason we all do it far too often. You will always fall...

Learning from the best in San Diego Apr29

Learning from the best in San Diego...

The whole mission of Geekdom House is to love and serve the nerd and geek community. Our method is primarily through the support, encouragement, and facilitation of the arts prominent within geek culture. While the idea of doing that is perhaps rare, it is not new. There is a group of people at the largest con in the world, the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), who have been doing it for years. So when I flew to San Diego (pronounced San Dee-AHHHH-go, I learned) for a wedding, I opted to stay an extra day to meet up with Brendan Prout, Committee Member and Programming Senior Staff of SDCC. We shared stories back and forth of the practical ways we’ve found to serve the geek community. We bonded over our love for geek culture. Prout and other volunteers on their own will purchase single packets of sun-screen and hand them out to con-attendees as an act of kindness and service. Those random acts were met with a wide variety of response (Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes and all that). He was excited to hear about our efforts with the Geekdom House Wandering Minstrels and was curious to know if a small group (band) of us would come down and do it at the SDCC. Not a bad idea. So either I finally learn how to sing properly or don a costume and conduct. Let’s be honest, it’ll be the latter. His advice for Geekdom House? Two things. The first: don’t go too fast. Find the right people and put them in the right seats on the right bus. In the excitement of new beginnings and growth, we will no doubt come across very passionate individuals. Their passion will tempt us to incorporate them into key roles. Brendan...

Convention Survival Guide Apr27

Convention Survival Guide...

You meet all types at a convention, some odd, some annoying, all awesome in their own way. Knowing how to deal with the other-than-average con-goers is crucial to your success (and mental health) as a vendor at any con. Here are the ones we encountered at our table during Retro Gamers Unite in Winnipeg. The where-are-your-parents kid. Congratulations, you have become the latest object of their obsession. If you’re not careful, they will monopolize your entire time, break your stuff, and generally make your booth less welcoming to the average passer-by. Seriously kid, where are your parents? How to react? They want attention. Strike up a deal with them to give them your undivided attention for 5 minutes and in return they move on afterwards. The this-con-sucks vendor. Their stuff is not selling and this is everyone’s fault but theirs. Like a succubus, they will lure you into their island of bitterness. How to react? Best killed with kindness. The I-am-going-to-buy-this-later guy. They won’t. They are just too polite to say no. How to react? Wish them well. The I-have-a-kickass-costume cosplayer. Cosplaying requires two things: time and money. You can sacrifice some of one but it only increases the necessity of the other. How to react? Take a picture with them. Seriously, they worked hard and what better way to reward them? The I’m-so-desperate-to-sell-you-things vendor. Your booth might not be doing as well as you hoped, but approaching me every time I pass by to talk my ear off about how wonderful your merchandise is isn’t doing you any favours. How to react? Smile politely and move on. The is-this-free guy. No, it’s not free. Please don’t walk away. The prices are clearly listed. Give me back my stuff. How to react? Terry Crews. Any to...